LETTER: Wicken’s Konik vision is ‘chaotic and out of hand’

Konik ponies

Konik ponies - Credit: Archant

I went last evening (Thursday December 3) to one of the now infrequent ‘community liaison forum’ meetings at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

Under ‘any other business’ I asked some questions about the wild and potentially dangerous Konik ponies from Poland which inhabit parts of the former food-growing farm land that form the so-called ‘Wicken Vision’ under the control of the National Trust.

I was astonished to learn that there are now 93 of these animals on the land and that no proper breeding programme is in place. The stallions and the mares run together, they breed at will and the stallions fight over the mares. I pointed out that, as anybody involved in animal husbandry knows, inbreeding is about as bad for animals as it is for humans.

As a person with some experience of keeping horses I am concerned about the set-up at Wicken Fen and the welfare of so many equines on such a relatively small acreage. This isn’t Exmoor with its 164,000 acres or the New Forest with its 140,000 acres; it’s Wicken Fen with some 2,300 acres.

The Konik thing at Wicken Fen has become chaotic and appears to be out of hand.